Italian minister: Dutch child euthanasia plans are "a re-emergence of Nazi policy"
31 March 2006
An Italian government minister has said that Holland's plans to legalise their practice of infant euthanasia on the grounds of disability are a re-emergence of Nazi policy. Carlo Giovanardi, Italy's Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, said in a radio debate, "Nazi legislation and Hitler's ideas are re-emerging in Europe via Dutch euthanasia laws and the debate on how to kill ill children." In a commentary in the Daily Standard, Wesley J. Smith suggests that the analogy is not entirely correct, but notes this is the first time a prominent government official has chided the Dutch for this practice which goes back to the early 1990s. The Dutch prime minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, complained that such comments were not good for international relations. [The Daily Standard, 27 March]
The Pope has told parliamentarians from the European Popular Party that the first principle of all politicians should be "protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception to natural death." Speaking on 30 March in Rome, Benedict XVI named three principles that all politicians should uphold: protection of life, recognition of the family and parents rights to educate their children. He said, "These principles ... are inscribed in human nature itself and therefore they are common to all humanity." These issues were not negotiable, he said, because the dignity of the human person was at stake. [Zenit, 30 March]
An Australian doctor who is campaigning for voluntary euthanasia has said that increasing numbers of people are coming to him for information about assisted suicide, although assisting suicide is currently illegal in Australia. Speaking to a meeting of 200 people in Queensland, on 27 March, Dr Philip Nitschke admitted telling people how to kill themselves using drugs and where to purchase these drugs but claimed that his advice was non-directional. [Sunshine Coast Daily, 28 March]
BBC television has broadcast a program about experiences of death and how the terminally ill should be treated. "How to Have a Good Death" was led by Esther Rantzen, who interviewed doctors, nurses, terminally ill patients and their families. The program concluded that better palliative care was needed, that there should be more hospices for the terminally ill and that people needed to face up to the inevitability of death. [The Times, 31 March]
Planned Parenthood is launching a campaign in which teenagers will receive free cinema tickets if they tell their peers about the abortion centres run by the group. The American program called "Tell-a-friend" includes a poster which reads, "Get free movie tickets? Yes. When you tell a friend about Planned Parenthood." Douglas Scott, president of Life Decisions International, said, "Planned Parenthood has resorted to common corporate tactics in an effort to get young people to encourage their peers to voluntarily become the pro-abortion group's new victims." [Life News, 30 March]